More US mobile phone owners relying on devices for health info

A new study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project reports that 31 percent of US mobile phone owners have used their devices to look up health information, with nearly 20 percent of users having downloaded at least one health app.

Back in 2010, Pew Internet and American Life Project reported that just 17 percent of cell phone owners used their devices to look up health information.

According to the report, smartphone owners are leading the front on mobile health, with 52 percent gathering health information on their phones, compared with six percent of non-smartphone owners.

The study, announced Thursday, is based on a survey of more than 3,000 US adults. Other findings reveal that young adults and minorities are more likely to use their phones for health information.

The most popular health apps downloaded are exercise, diet, and weight apps, with 38 percent of health app users tracking exercise, 31 percent tracking their diet, and 12 percent managing their weight with the apps.

Yet, while the study revealed that 80 percent of mobile phone owners send and receive text messages, only nine percent say they receive any text updates or alerts about health or medical issues.

Access the study here: http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2012/Mobile-Health/Key-Findings.aspx

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